Soccer Picks: Real Madrid vs. Schalke 04 in Champions League

Nila Amerova

Monday, March 17, 2014 7:10 PM GMT

Real Madrid host Schalke 04 in the second leg of their R16 Champions League tie, which is practically a dead rubber as it rests on a 6-1 advantage to the hosts. So what soccer odds present the best value for soccer bettors here? Join us as we breakdown this clash.

Schalke 04 playing for pride

Schalke 04 enter the reverse leg of their Champions League R16 tie with Real Madrid at the huge disadvantage, both on the score and in sports betting exchanges where they are the quintessential long shots at +1400 to win outright. There is absolutely no chance that Schalke 04 would advance into the quarterfinals; that dream rocketed out the window following a 6-1 disembowelling in Germany.  

Notionally however there is a small, minor, teeny-weeny chance Schalke 04 could still win the reverse leg in order to salvage some pride on the European stage; prove their abysmal capitulation in Gelsenkirchen was a one-off and that they deserve to be in the competition. But that is easier said than done. And especially not at the expense of Real Madrid, a side that is swelling in confidence and momentum and showing no signs of letting up, let alone an inclination towards being mildly merciful to the visitors.

That notion might have gained traction if Schalke 04 – probably still reeling from the Spanish conquistadors’ visit – hadn’t succumbed to Bayern Munich 5-1 immediately afterwards. It’s true that Schalke then bounced back with a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim and a 2-1 win over Augsburg but the damage was already done. The proof in the pudding: the gap in quality, depth, skill and class between Schalke 04 and the Reals and Bayerns of European soccer is conspicuously grand.

No ifs or buts about it: Real Madrid are through to the quarterfinals, the book on them closed in that soccer betting market already. The only question: in what manner do they intend to advance? Will they seal their R16 tie on another comprehensive victory? Or will they sit back for 90 minutes and comfortably go through the motions just for appearances sake?  It’s worth mentioning that Real Madrid have a date with Barcelona looming at the weekend, the infamous El Clasico billing but with an added title twist. With the top pair separated by just three points in the table it will surely play a pivotal role towards determining the title race.

Real Madrid enter their clash as the prohibitive favourites at soccer odds of -450 to win outright at Bet365. As well, they are listed at -163 to win both halves at Bet365. Few doubt whether Real Madrid will win this clash but it’s difficult to determine with any certainty the manner in which they will pull off the victory. What approach Ancelotti will decide to take against Schalke 04 – play it safe or unleash the firing squad. Of course, Real Madrid would rather capitalise on this prime opportunity to throw down the gauntlet, announce their serious intentions to the final-eight field in Europe’s top flight. But will they risk it at the expense of El Clasico?  Probably not.

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Real Madrid vs. Schalke 04 betting tips and picks: The tie safely decided in favour of the hosts, there is no real need for Real Madrid to expend much energy in winning, save to show off just because they can. As well, it’s hard to imagine Schalke 04 kicking up much of a fuss either, even if pride is on the line. So Real Madrid should come through on their -450 soccer odds to win outright. For better value soccer picks however we have to turn to other markets. Double result markets such as Real Madrid to win both halves at -163 and Real to win while both teams score at +130 are two of many standout options available on sports betting exchanges.  By that same token, the Over 2.5 at -275 is also a good option to consider.

Some of the choice goal scorers (to score anytime ) available to back include Cristiano Ronaldo at -275, Gareth Bale at -150 and Klaas Jan Huntelaar at +188 – the latter of which scored the only goal for Schalke 04 but also the best goal of the game by many accounts.

Soccer Free Picks: Real Madrid to win outright; both teams to score at +130 and Over 2.5 at -275